After I took a look in couple of rooms of monks (still with clothing on the old beds!) and the church, I continued my way in the sinister building. While we cautiously peered into new rooms and halls, I feld not happy at all, because you could never be shure the building was totally deserted and at the same time I feld an intruder.
Monks from the monastery Panteleimon 1917/18: source: magazine Plaatwerk/sept. 1986 (thanks to Paul Robert and Rolf Bos)
To my surprise we arrived, after passing a some dark places, in a large bright and totall intact place, messuring 5 x 10 meters, where I saw a great number of bookshelves lying on the ground. The intire floor was covered with a thick layer of paper ! There were no books left and all the squatered papers showed out to be worthless. Offcourse I took a closer look at a piece of paper and I saw a leaflet with a printed Russian text with a black and white picture. I scanned it:
front of the leaflet of the Ukrain ‘Skiti’
Back in Holland I was able to translate the text: the leaflet was made for the orthodox community in Odessa, who could pay a certain amount of rubels to the monks on the Mountain, and they would do prayers for the people back in Ukrain. The more you payed, the more prayers would be said !
I tried to find a name of the complex, but I did not manage to find one. On the backside of the leaflet you could read the adress where you should send your order.
Adress: through the city of Odessa, .. (?) .. The Holy Mountain Athos, inhabitants of the community of the risen Lord Christ, THE MONASTERY PANTELEIMON, the holy brothership.
the backside of the leaflet form the Ukrain ‘Skiti’
So we now know that the building was related to the monastery of Panteleimon. Who knows I will ever find out what the real name of the building was, and that it no longer should be called the “Ukrain” Skiti.
The library by the way, had a large surpise for me. In a corner a last cupboard was still standing upright and here also I found hundreds of leaflets. Because it was already a totall chaos in the room (and I am a curious guy), I also had a look behind the cupboard. To my surprise I found this:
It is a 10 Rubel note from 1909, so it dates from before the Russian Revolution!
I did not feel ashamed to take these things along, because they did not represent any value. The 10 rubel note from 1909 will cost you € 2,00 if you buy it on the internet. The most interesting was the leaflet (Dipiscia = summary), to order you prayers.
After the visit we continued our walk and went further to Lavra.
I have seen some recent pictures of Skiti Agios Andreou near Karyes, and I saw some large bells lying in front of the gate. Is one of these bronze bells maybe the one I saw hanging in the building that I discribed in this article ? Unfortunately I was not able to find out more during my last visit to Athos in May this year. The large bell from the cell of Timiou Stavros is now hanging in Karakllou – update 12/11/2023.
I finish this story with a picture form 1917/18, taken in Panteleimon and showing monks, who might have lived in the deserted building that I talked about !
Panteleimon 1917/18 from the magazine Plaatwerk/sept. 1986 (thanks to Paul Robert and Rolf Bos)
updates 11/12/2023- also photo’s below